Turkey’s Bud­get Posts $5.3b Deficit in Q1


ANKARA (Dis­patches) - The Turk­ish govern­ment’s bud­get bal­ance saw a deficit of 20.4 bil­lion Turk­ish li­ras ($5.34 bil­lion) in the first quar­ter of 2018, the Fi­nance Min­istry an­nounced on Mon­day.

Ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial state­ment, Turkey’s bud­get rev­enues this Jan­uary to March to­taled 167.4 bil­lion Turk­ish li­ras ($43.8 bil­lion), up 15.7 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod of last year.

Over the same pe­riod, bud­get ex­penses stood at 187.9 bil­lion Turk­ish li­ras ($49.2 bil­lion), climb­ing 17.7 per­cent an­nu­ally. Ex­clud­ing in­ter­est pay­ments, the cen­tral govern­ment bud­get bal­ance saw a sur­plus of nearly $500 mil­lion in the first quar­ter of this year. The av­er­age U.S. dol­lar/Turk­ish lira ex­change rate in the first quar­ter was around 3.82, ac­cord­ing to Turkey’s Cen­tral Bank.

In­ter­est pay­ments in the first quar­ter rose 18.3 per­cent on a yearly ba­sis to reach 22.3 bil­lion Turk­ish li­ras ($5.8 bil­lion), while tax rev­enues reached 145.8 bil­lion Turk­ish li­ras ($38.2 bil­lion) -- a 19.9 per­cent an­nual rise.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Naci Ag­bal said in the state­ment that tax rev­enues for this year will ex­ceed the tar­geted fig­ures in the coun­try’s Medium-Term Pro­gram (MTP). “The ex­pen­di­tures in the first quar­ter of the year were re­al­ized within the lim­its of bud­get al­lo­ca­tions,” he said. “In the com­ing months, we will con­tinue to de­ci­sively im­ple­ment fis­cal dis­ci­pline to achieve the year-end bud­get tar­gets in the MTP,” he added. In 2017, Turkey’s bud­get deficit/GDP ra­tio was around 1.5 per­cent -- be­low the MTP tar­get. In the coun­try’s MTP, the bud­get deficit/GDP ra­tio tar­get is 1.9 per­cent this year, 1.8 per­cent next year, and 1.6 per­cent in 2020.

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